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Stamped in gold; but that's insculp'd9 upon;
Lies all within. - Deliver me the key;
Por. There, take it, prince, and if my form lie there, [He unlocks the golden casket.
Then I am yours.
Mor. O hell! what have we here?
A carrion death, within whose empty eye
There is a written scroll? I'll read the writing.
All that glisters is not gold,
Cold, indeed; and labour lost:
Then, farewell, heat; and, welcome, frost.
Portia adieu! I have too griev❜d a heart
To take a tedious leave: thus losers part.
Por. A gentle riddance, -Draw the curtains,
Let all of his complexion choose me so.
Venice. A Street.
Enter SALARINO and SALANIO.
Salar. Why man, I saw Bassanio under sail; With him is Gratiano gone along;
9 -insculp'd upon;] To insculp is to engrave. The meaning is, that the figure of the angel is raised or embossed on the coin, not engraved on it.
And in their ship, I am sure, Lorenzo is not.
Salan. The villain Jew with outcries rais'd the duke;
Salar. He came too late, the ship was under sail :
Who went with him to search Bassanio's ship.
But there the duke was given to understand,
My daughter! - O my ducats! - O my daughter!
Salar. Why, all the boys in Venice follow him,
Marry, well remember'd: I reason'd with a Frenchman yesterday 1; Who told me, in the narrow seas, that part The French and English, there miscarried A vessel of our country, richly fraught: I thought upon Antonio, when he told me; And wish'd in silence, that it were not his. Salan. You were best to tell Antonio what you Yet do not suddenly, for it may grieve him.
Salar. A kinder gentleman treads not the earth. I saw Bassanio and Antonio part:
Bassanio told him, he would make some speed
1 I reason'd with a Frenchman yesterday ;] i.e. I conversed.
Of his return; he answer'd
· Do not so,
Slubber not2 business for my sake, Bassanio,
And for the Jew's bond, which he hath of me,
He wrung Bassanio's hand, and so they parted.
Do we so.
Belmont. A Room in Portia's House.
Enter NERISSA, with a Servant.
Ner. Quick, quick, I pray thee draw the curtain straight;
The prince of Arragon hath ta'en his oath,
And comes to his election presently.
2 Slubber not-] To slubber is to do any thing carelessly, imperfectly.
3 And even there, his eye being big with tears,
Turning his face, he put his hand behind him, &c.] So curious an observer of nature was our author, and so minutely had he traced the operation of the passions, that many passages of his works might furnish hints to painters. It is indeed surprizing that they do not study his plays with this view. In the passage before us, we have the outline of a beautiful picture. MALONE.
4 embraced heaviness-] The heaviness which he indulges, and is fond of.
Flourish of Cornets.
Enter the Prince of Arragon, PORTIA, and their Trains.
Por. Behold, there stand the caskets, noble prince: If you choose that wherein I am contain❜d,
Straight shall our nuptial rites be solemniz'd;
Ar. I am enjoin'd by oath to observe three things:
First, never to unfold to any one
Which casket 'twas I chose; next, if I fail
Of the right casket, never in my life,
To woo a maid in way of marriage; lastly,
Por. To these injunctions every one doth swear,
Ar. And so have I address'd me 5: Fortune now To my heart's hope! - Gold, silver, and base lead. Who chooseth me, must give and hazard all he hath : You shall look fairer, ere I give, or hazard. What says the golden chest? ha! let me see:— Who chooseth me, shall gain what many men desire. What many men desire. That many may be meant By the fool multitude, that choose by show, Not learning more than the fond eye doth teach; Which pries not to the interior, but, like the martlet, Builds in the weather on the outward wall,
Even in the force and road of casualty.
I will not choose what many men desire,
And so have I address'd me:] To address is to prepare.
jump-] i. e. agree with.
And well said too; For who shall go about
Without the stamp of merit! Let none presume
O, that estates, degrees, and offices,
Were not deriv'd corruptly! and that clear honour
Por. Too long a pause for that which you find there. Ar. What's here? the portrait of a blinking idiot, Presenting me a schedule? I will read it.
How much unlike art thou to Portia?
How much unlike my hopes, and my deservings?
Is that my prize? are my deserts no better?
Por. To offend, and judge, are distinct offices, And of opposed natures.
What is here?
The fire seven times tried this ;
8 How much low peasantry would then be glean'd
From the true seed of honour?] The meaning is, How much meanness would be found among the great, and how much greatness among the mean.